Wonder Wednesday: The Honey Bee

Welcome back to #WonderWednesday! Unfortunately we skipped last week as I was battling a stomach bug, but I am back and feeling much better. This week we have been exploring using ‘The Honey Bee’ by Kirsten Hall as a provocation tool. We were fortunate to have a visit and talk put on by one of the wonderful Mum’s in our room about her bee keeping passion, as our original provocation and then this book fit so nicely, we continued on. Both of these provocation activities have provoked a lot of questions, connections and stories around honey bees, the importance of bees and helping the environment.
Book Description: This beautiful stories brings to life the journey and exploration time of a honey bee. Flying from flower to flower in search of pollen and nectar. Onomatopoeia and LOUD words make this book super fun to read. The illustrations are gorgeous and are wonderful provocations and pictures to use for thinking and writing routines. At the end of this book, the author writes a letter to the readers. The letter focuses on the importance of honey bees and things we can do to help save them, as they are slowly dying. This book is an inspiring and wonderful read. We thoroughly enjoyed it.


Context: This book came right after a wonderful provocation we had brought by a mother in our room. She came in to share about her bee keeping passion. She brought in many items that provoked our thinking and brought out a lot of our questions, stories and connections. We are quite knowledgeable and curious about bees. Her bee keeping suit and mask was super neat to see. Along with her hive box, the honey screens, a dead bee, honey to try and peppermint spray to smell (to calm the bees) we were beyond excited to listen and most importantly.. share! 



Connections: We loved the letter, that the author of ‘The Honey Bee’ wrote to the readers, at the end of the book! It was about how bees are in danger of not surviving, and suggested five different ways we can help out bees and pollinators. As I read it out loud a lot of sad and worried faces appeared on my littles. They were demonstrating compassion and appeared to want to do something. I immediately decided we should do some further thinking on this. We did some thinking and sharing with a partner on the carpet and then followed this up by sharing our idea and plan of how we were going to help the honey bees in our journals. We loved this and wrote/illustrated for almost 40 minutes!! That is a long time in Kinderland.

During our afternoon exploration time, I suggested creating a Honey shop and lots of friends were immediately on board. We had a group of littles who were interested in making signs for the shop whilst others set up ‘honey jars’, tea cups and little plates for the honey shop’s cafe. I also brought out the cash register and some play money, hopefully to spark some interest in money and will lead us into financial literacy. This dramatic play provocation area is a hit and a hot spot in our room!


Wonder Prompts:
-What sound do honey bees make? 
-Where would you find a honey bee? 
-What do honey bees do? 
-Do honey bees live alone or in a group? 
-How do honey bees help our environment? 
-Why do you think honey beers are in danger? 
-What can you do to help honey bees? 
-What do you notice with the LOUD words in this book?

Stay tuned for more Honey Bee inquiry learning, as we are just getting started! Follow me on Instagram for daily highlights on my stories of our learning: @InquiryTeacher .

Have you read ‘The Honey Bee’? How did it provoke your learners? What connections to honey, bees, local products, environment? How did you extend their learning and inquiry journey? Please share below. In inquiry we are more powerful together.

Stay curious, 


Wonder Wednesday: Up in the Garden and Down in the Dirt

Welcome back to #WonderWednesday! This week I will be sharing about how I used ‘Up in the Garden and Down in the Dirt’ by Kate Messner as a provocation tool. It has been a great tool at this time of year. In Victoria, it almost feels like we skipped spring, and have jumped straight into summer. We have been spending lots of time outdoors and in the local community garden. This book was a timely fit and a familiar one for our friends, as we used the winter version of this story quite a bit early on second term. It has been a great way to provoke questions, thinking and curiosity around planting and what is beneath the soil.
up in the garden and down in the dirt.jpg
Book Description: Up in the Garden and Down in the Dirt has us exploring what grows above and beneath the soil. It takes us on a journey throughout the seasons to discover what we might find down in the soil, beneath a leaf, under a bush and more. The words are written in an almost poetic form. The illustrations are incredible and really leave you wanting more! This book depicts many different areas in the garden and also has a child and a grandma for our littles to relate to.

Connections: This book could not have come in a more timely way. We had focused a lot on the winter version of this book in term 2, click here.  So when I was visiting our local book store, and saw the spring version I knew it would be a hit with my littles! We had just planted beans in our room and were super curious about how they were growing and how they were staying connected to the soil. This book prompted a lot of discussion about roots and what is happening below the soil that we do not see. It provoked curiosity and questions as we visited our local garden every couple of days. Lots of insights and thoughts around what was happening beneath the garden beds came up. 

Context: As we had been wondering about what plants need to grow, I decided to do some ‘I see, I notice, I wonder’ thinking routines with some of the illustrations in this book. These routines allowed us to go a bit deeper with our questions and understandings in relation to how plants grow. I use Google Slides to do these with the picture book as the background. I find the image online and then put it as the background on the slide, or as a picture, depending on the size. Then I use the text tool to add the children’s’ vocab and statements. We started to learn vocabulary about plants in French and noticed that we already knew quite a bit.


As we spent more and more time looking at the illustrations and noticing different aspects of the garden scenes, some discussion around the artwork came up from my littles. I asked them if they wanted to do some type of artwork related to the book, they were eager. We did a little class Pinterest session, a regular research tool of ours, to find something that might inspire us as artists. We came across Darla Myers’ beautiful mural and were hooked! We started planning and creating.

Wonder Prompts:
-What do imagine underneath the soil? 
-How does a plant grow upwards? 
-Why do some vegetables grow underground and others above? 
-What do plants need to grow? 
-How do earthworms make tunnels? 
-How do insects survive? 
-Why are bees important? 
-How far down do you think roots go? 

Extensions: We took our thinking and learning a bit further by bringing measurement into the mix. We have been wondering about the difference between length and height and I thought measuring in the garden. We walked to the garden and read Length from the series Math Counts by Henry Pluckrose. We then explored the difference between height and length by measuring with our hands, our feet and some unfix blocks. Lots of excitement around measurement!

I love how they have so much space to explore and investigate in the garden. It is such a different vibe than being in the classroom. The learning is deeper and the investigation and connection making goes much further. Questions started to arise about different types of plants, flowers and trees. We are a curious bunch, who LOVE to explore!

Read Aloud: Click here to see this book as a read aloud!  This read aloud is very clear and the illustrations are easy to see. It is a great version. Enjoy!

Have you read ‘Up in the Garden and Down in the Dirt’? How did it provoke your learners? What connections to planting, growing, spring, insects and animals did they make? How did you extend their learning and inquiry journey? Please share below. In inquiry we are more powerful together.

Stay curious, 

Wonder Wednesday: The Word Collector

Welcome back to #WonderWednesday. This week I will be sharing about The Word Collector by Peter H. Reynolds.  This book has been a great provocation tool for third term in Kindergarten and I think would be for any age level. The ideas shared throughout the story have provoked an interest about words, writing, making lists and collecting words. The focus on literacy and specifically writing has been intriguing and very timely for my eager term 3 kinder littles. wordcollector.jpg

Book Description: The Word Collector is about a young boy, Jerome, who is fascinated by words. He collects words and classifies them into various categories: juicy words, two syllable words, sweet words, and the list goes on. Jerome discovers the magic of words and plays with words that connect, inspire and empower!

Connections: Term two and three has had us interested in writing and working on forming sentences using known vocabulary and our word wall. We love making silly sentences and playing around with punctuation. Term 3 has us focusing on sight words and beginning to read, so this book fits beautifully with where we are at. It has prompted a lot of discussion and questions surrounding words. ‘What is a word?’ and ‘How do we know that something is a word’. This has been great review of spaces (something we are always working on). This book sparked curiosity around words and how we see them every day all over the place. My littles suggested they could be word detectives and notice new words all of the time. PERFECT! 

Context: We decided that as detectives or word collectors we would need little scrapbooks, just like Jerome has in the book! We used fancy paper to create our own scrapbooks and this created some hype and excitement around using the books. I modeled how to use them, but lots of the kiddos spent entire exploration times writing in their books. Here is the template so you can make your own books! 

Furthermore, we were inspired by the hanging our words on a clothesline, as Jerome does in the book and have started a clothesline in our classroom full of words we can recognize and write.
Wonder Prompts:
-What makes a word a word? 
-Where do you see words at school? 
-Where do you see words at home? 
-What words are you curious about? 
-What is a syllable?
-Do you see words when you’re outside? 
-Why are there spaces in sentences?

Extensions: This book could really take you in many directions with literacy. It has empowered us on a word finding and writing spree, we are just so excited and enthusiastic about words!
-Sorting types of words that are found would be something that the book could lead into: types of words, sorting by syllable, sorting by theme, sorting by length, sorting and ordering in alphabetic order
-Looking at how words are similar or different in various languages
-Class wide bulletin board or individual books with a different template than mine: click here. 

Read Aloud: I love how this read aloud is read by the author himself in his studio. Have a listen here. 

Have you read ‘The Word Collector’? How did it provoke your learners? What connections to words, reading and writing did they share? How did you extend their learning and inquiry journey? Please share below. In inquiry we are more powerful together.

Stay curious, 

Wonder Wednesday: Not a Box

Welcome to #WonderWednesday. This week I will be sharing about: Not a Box by Antoinette Portis. This book provokes imagination, making connections and sharing of creative ideas. The creative ideas that this book can provoke are inspiring, fun and original.
51k2YbbOSdL._SX258_BO1,204,203,200_.jpgBook Description: ‘Not a Box’ is a humour and imaginative picture book that will inspire your learner to use their imagination with regular day items. Antoinette Portis captures the thought process a young child may have when imagining and playing with a cardboard box. The box becomes the bunny’s gateway to imagination and exploration.
After spring break we commenced an Imagination and Magical inquiry. It was completely student learner driven. Our kiddos decided on this focus before our spring break. They were researching in small focus groups about: Unicorns, Fairies, Dragons, Princesses, Knights & Castles. As a whole group we were focusing on our essential question: “What is imagination?”. We read through various different picture books, and ‘Not a Box’ was a highlight. We had been talking about what we thought imagination was. Some of our ideas and thoughts included being able to turn any object into something special to play with. ‘Not a Box’ fit this focus beautifully.

Context: As we were exploring our ideas surrounding imagination, we read ‘Not a Box’ as a whole class. The text in this book is quite repetitive and simple, perfect for Kindergarten and second language learners (French to be ad-libbed). Together we read through the book, a couple of times. We explored the idea of changing a box into anything we imagined. We did ‘thinking caps’ (whole brain teaching) to come up with our ideas and we shared them through partner carpet talk. Through drawing, we then turned our box into our imaginative object. This was a hit! This book sparked curiosity and dialogue around using our imagination if we are feeling ‘bored’. It also had us turning regular classroom objects into imaginative things during playtime. Furthermore, it had us inspired about using boxes for our upcoming museum display. Top right thought bubbles are where we drew about this book. 


Wonder Prompts:
-When you look a box, what else do you see? 
-What might your ‘Not a Box’ be? 
-Think about a time you used your imagination to turn an object into something creative. 
-What might you need to change a box into your creation? 
-Where would you find a cardboard box? 
-How do you use your imagination? 
-Why would someone choose to use their imagination to create with a box?

-Illustrating: changing a box shape into something else
-Box Maker Space creation: collecting cardboard boxes for your kiddos to create
-Creating museum exhibits or learning projects out of cardboard boxes
-2D and 3D shape dialogue, sorting and creating
-Sharing and tapping into imagination dialogue

Read Aloud: Try this read aloud with your learners. The reader uses the picture book to read and flip through the pages.

Have you read ‘NOT A BOX’? How did it provoke your learners? What connections to imagination did they share? How did you extend their learning and inquiry journey? Please share below. In inquiry we are more powerful together.

Stay curious,